We broke up but I won­der if we’ve still got a chance

The Hamilton Spectator - - WEATHER FORECAST - el­liead­vice.com

Q. I’m 62, in love with a woman for 10 years. She has three adult chil­dren liv­ing un­der her roof, ages 22 to 28, all young men. They’re all con­tribut­ing fi­nan­cially. I’ve only spent one night at her home in all the years that I’ve known her.

Re­cently, we broke up, or re­al­is­ti­cally, I got the boot (even off her Face­book friends’ page) as my ca­reer went south and I have a few le­gal mat­ters to re­solve.

This is un­der­stand­able and I do re­ally feel she should seek a bet­ter op­tion. I haven’t seen her for four months! It’s been bru­tal! Since she ap­par­ently doesn’t want any­thing to do with me (though she emails oc­ca­sion­ally), am I a fool hang­ing on here? Have you a game plan for me? I know what love is and I do love her and re­ally want her hap­pi­ness to be first and fore­most.

A. You’ve al­ready sur­passed the odds in a wait­ing game, with your 10 years of danc­ing around a ro­mance that never be­came a live-in re­la­tion­ship.

Now, she’s ap­par­ently de­cided that your busi­ness prob­lems have made the si­t­u­a­tion prob­lem­atic.

On the prac­ti­cal level, her sons con­trib­ute fi­nan­cially, while you don’t or can’t.

But be­ing loved so openly and whole­heart­edly as you feel about her is hard to give up. There may be hope. Fo­cus on what’s needed to set­tle your “le­gal mat­ters.”

Con­tinue gen­tle email con­tact and let her know, oc­ca­sion­ally, that you miss her. Also, that you’re set­tling your own is­sues as quickly as you can.

Af­ter that, well, if you don’t get any signs of re­newed in­ter­est af­ter a cou­ple more months, she’s ap­par­ently de­cided that 10 years of be­ing adored at a dis­tance is enough talk with no mu­tual sat­is­fac­tion.

Feed­back re­gard­ing the woman whose hus­band’s ex-wife has for­bid­den any con­tact be­tween his chil­dren and her (Jan­uary 19): Reader: “To the wor­ried new wife: Run! My 16-year re­la­tion­ship started out the same way, though he’d al­ready been di­vorced for five years.

“His ex-wife had bro­ken up his ev­ery re­la­tion­ship be­fore me (I didn’t know this, then).

“When I came along, their daugh­ter was forced by the courts to visit or stay at our home, but I wasn’t al­lowed to at­tend any func­tions or even give gifts.

“The child is now 23. The re­la­tion­ship was, and is still, un­com­fort­able be­tween her, me, and my daugh­ter.

“It was drilled into his child when very young that I’m the rea­son her par­ents aren’t to­gether.

“Why did I stay? He’d im­me­di­ately moved in with me and my kids very early in the re­la­tion­ship and I felt re­ally sorry to tell him to leave.

“Also, he treats me very lov­ingly and was very kind to my kids. “But my chil­dren and I paid a price. So no, it’s not worth it. I should’ve stayed sin­gle.”

El­lie: A sad, cau­tion­ary tale of the harm caused by vin­dic­tive­ness and fear.

Q. She’s been my best friend since third grade. We just turned 60.

We stayed close over 40-plus years. I held all of her new­born ba­bies and she saw me through two mar­riages and my child’s birth.

Last year, she said her old­est child’s wed­ding would be small and we wouldn’t be in­vited.

Her son was get­ting mar­ried soon af­ter and I was in­formed, apolo­get­i­cally, that we again wouldn’t be in­vited as space was lim­ited and they had a small in­vi­ta­tion list.

A. Re­spond with grace and un­der­stand­ing.

She’s un­com­fort­able but is count­ing on your long friend­ship.

Wish her well. Say you’d love to later hear all about the wed­dings.

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